California currently is holding an estimated $9.3 billion in property and funds that have been forgotten or unclaimed by rightful owners, according to the state controller’s office. These funds and property may take the form of bank accounts, uncashed employee checks, stocks, bonds, insurance and even unclaimed workers comp benefits.
Every State is Required to Keep Track of Unclaimed Funds and Property
Each and every state is required to keep track of lost, missing, or unclaimed funds and assets in statewide databases, similar to an asset lost and found. The databases are accessible to the public, and anyone can run an easy search by name and retrieve any unclaimed funds to which they may be entitled.
It is likely that most people who have unclaimed money are not aware of it. They may have been entitled to a refund under an outdated insurance contract, an uncashed dividend, or a forgotten checking account.
How the Unclaimed Property is Accounted For
California’s Unclaimed Property Law requires any holder of funds to file a report on an annual basis with the state, and if there has been no activity on the account for a period of three years, they must deliver the funds or property to the California State Controller’s Office. Entities required to file such reports are corporations, businesses, associations, financial institutions, and insurance companies. There the property or funds sit, waiting for you to claim them.
Workers Compensation Benefits May Be Unclaimed
Additionally, some workers comp benefits may be waiting for the rightful owner in the State’s unclaimed benefits fund. If you have filed a workers comp claim, you know that there are many types of benefits and avenues of reimbursement. Some of those include reimbursement for mileage, medical costs, disability payments, allowances for retraining and rehabilitation, disability, and survivor benefits.
A workers comp case is complicated, and it is easy to lose track of what benefits and compensation are due. If money is available on your claim but you have not claimed it, it may well be sitting in the State Controller’s unclaimed funds account, ready and waiting for you.
Governmental Entities Offer Access to Databases
California State Controller Betty T. Yee is pushing to notify private citizens and businesses of their abandoned cash, and urges Californians to access the office’s database to see if any of the 48 million property or cash may be reunited with the rightful owner.
According to the controller’s office, 33,000 people claimed approximately $23.9 million in forgotten properties in February alone. In San Francisco, more than 800 properties were reclaimed, nearly 600 in Fresno, 267 in Santa Ana and 215 in Pasadena.
The state controller’s office suggests that there’s no time like the present to see if there might be any funds or property waiting for you. Websites to check are claimit.ca.gov, or ucpi.sco.ca.gov/UCP/.
The State Controller’s Office is not the only governmental entity holding unclaimed property. The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. keeps track of unclaimed pension benefits (for example, as a survivor of a person who should be drawing a pension). To access the PBGC’s database, simply go to this website: http://search.pbgc.gov/mp/mp.aspx.
Other agencies also keep track of unclaimed property and funds and have established web pages to help people see if anything is being held that belongs to them, such as the Veterans Administration (http://www.insurance.va.gov/liability/ufsearch.htm) and the U.S. Railroad Retirement Board (https://secure.rrb.gov).
You really have nothing to lose by taking a few minutes to see if you might have unclaimed property or funds gathering dust in a governmental holding tank.
Long Beach Workers Compensation Lawyers
If you were injured or made ill in the workplace, we recommend that you speak with an experienced workers comp lawyer immediately. Even if you are currently receiving workers comp benefits, it is a good idea to get some legal advice to protect your rights going into the future.
An experienced workers compensation lawyer can help you identify minor issues before they become major problems – and make sure that you not only receive your benefits now, but for years to come.
Your consultation with our workers’ comp lawyers is 100% confidential, and neither your employer nor your insurance company will be notified that you requested a consultation with us. Our lawyers will help you understand your rights and work tirelessly to ensure that you receive the maximum workers’ comp benefits for which you qualify.
Call our Workers Compensation Lawyers for a FREE CONSULTATION: 800-964-8047
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